I have blogged before about how the internet has had a negative impact on how people interact. However I have rethought that proposition and would like to restate it. I think the internet enhances peoples ability to be rude, I think the capacity for rudeness must be there already. Rudeness is really a lack of respect and this is not new however it is my belief that in tough economic times this issue is amplified. It is a reflection on the individualism and consumerism that permeates our western society and the smell is really offensive.
Now there are some people who genuinely lack social skills, they have little empathy and find relationships very hard, often self centred, very concrete in their thinking, unwilling to be challenged, you can tell these people easy, remorse is not one of their friends, and sorry is not in their vocabulary, this behavior is sometimes located in fear and sometimes unfortunately in mental illness, other times it is just sheer ignorance.
They are generally bullys. they have to have the last word. When resources are more scarce we see competition for them increase. In New Zealand we have seen some shameful things. the dawn raids where a classical example of that http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=152504. I have noticed a lot of talk where groups are named in our society with tags like those….. referring to their racial identity. This is the first step in dehumanising people and it is necessary for bullies and non aware people as once dehumanised they can say what they want about a people group or a person with little or no remorse.
This can have tragic consequences for those who are the victims. Charlotte Dawson is a classic example of that. What can we do about it? Well some of her friends have taken action http://www.stuff.co.nz/entertainment/celebrities/9757532/Friends-launch-Charlottes-Law-petition. A good start perhaps. A lot of bullys hide behind anonymity, I remember the bad old days when Mr or Mrs Anon could write a letter to the Editor. It is a very rare day when that happens in print media. Why is it that people can post anon online. I think careful consideration of this concept would have far more effect than any punitive ipso facto law.
However as I have written before it is our Politicians and leaders that need to lead the charge arpund setting examples for behaviour, so far an outstandingly dismal failure.
If you wouldn’t say it to their face don’t say it in public. Above all else be true